During the past year, Dr. William N. Watson, physicist, of DOE/OSTI’s staff has posted quite a few very interesting white papers in OSTI’s monthly Science Showcase on OSTI’s Home Page. This quiet, unassuming man crafts prolific papers on popular science topics of interest to the Department of Energy (DOE). He investigates and assimilates this information from OSTI’s extensive R&D Collections and takes us on a layman’s journey through the technical details and scientific research that make it all possible.
William’s papers have helped us to understand key technologies developed at DOE Laboratories for the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity and how chemical analysis of rocks and soil is determined millions of miles away. We know what is happening with new heat pump technology and how DOE researchers are working to improve designs and efficiency.
With the release of SciTech Connect, OSTI is expanding its deployment of semantic search, an innovative technology to improve the quality and relevance of search results across the majority of its DOE content. Semantic search is a way to enhance search accuracy contextually. Rather than relying on search algorithms that identify a specific query term, semantic search uses more complex contextual relationships among people, places and things. It is an especially effective search approach when a person truly is researching a topic (rather than trying to navigate to a particular destination).
Did you ever stop to think what makes it possible for you to have immediate, free access to Department of Energy (DOE) scientific findings from billions of dollars of annual research? A lot of behind-the-scenes work and dedication of an entire community make it all possible.
The heart and soul of this endeavor is the DOE Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP), a collaboration to ensure your access to DOE research and development results.
The SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade. As part of the initiative, the Department announced seven data-driven projects that will bring to light new opportunities to lower costs and advance solar energy deployment in the U.S.A. Former Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, “Through powerful analytical tools developed by our nation’s top universities and national labs, we can gain unparalleled insight into solar deployment that will help lower the cost of solar power and create new businesses and jobs.”
For many years, scientific information was provided primarily in text-based formats, such as journal articles, conference proceedings, and technical reports. Increasingly, however, scientists are communicating through multimedia formats (images, videos), and via direct access to their scientific data sets. Information users face some unique challenges in finding scientific information, particularly when it can take several forms. Imagine that a climatologist has created data sets detailing precipitation measurements for the North Slope of Alaska. The climatologist might present these findings first at a meteorological conference, and the presentation might be taped and made available as a video of the conference. Later, the climatologist publishes one or more technical reports, referring to the original data sets. How does a user find all this relevant information?
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